2019-01-10 / News

Get help with tax filing

By IDA M. JACKSON
Family and Consumer Sciences County Extension Agent

Want your income taxes prepared and electronically filed for free? If so, call me.

Have you ever heard the saying “there is nothing in life free”? However, this is not true in all situations. Some people may not realize it, but you can file your taxes for free.

Based on data from the IRS, many taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) pay someone to prepare their tax returns. In 2013, The National Consumer Law Center estimated that taxpayers claiming the EITC paid about $2.3 billion per year to get their taxes prepared and receive their refund fast.

Would you like to avoid paying to have your taxes prepared and keep all of your tax refund? If so, there are free programs available to file your taxes for free. One particular program is the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, known as VITA.

VITA is a free program that allows you to get your taxes prepared and filed for free. The program is coordinated locally by volunteers from one or more community-based organizations. Volunteers are certified by the IRS and must pass annual exams to prepare tax returns, and all tax returns go through a quality review process before being submitted to the IRS. VITA volunteer tax preparers are trained and certified by the IRS to prepare many types of tax returns, including those claiming the EITC and other credits.

Regardless of whether your taxes are prepared at a VITA site or by a paid tax preparer, the IRS will delay tax refunds that claim the EITC until mid to late February. In an effort to reduce identity thief, legislation was passed to delay refunds that include the EITC.

The Wilkes County Extension office will offer VITA during the 2019 tax season. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Ida Jackson FACS-Agent at 706- 678-2332.

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